Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Friday, September 7, 2007

Just after Steve got home last night, we had a big storm move through. We got 1.7” of rain in less than an hour. It was blowing at about a 45 degree angle and coming down hard. After the rain stopped, we decided to go get ice cream at the Village Drive In. On the way home we noticed a place in the street right in front of our driveway that was holding water badly. It’s held water since we bought the place, but nobody has bothered to do anything about it. All it needed was a channel cut to the ditch maybe 10’ away. Steve hopped on the tractor and went down to see what he could do.

After he finished he brought the tractor back and asked me to go down and see what he had done. It was totally dark by then, so he grabbed a flashlight and we took the dogs down the driveway. While we were looking at his handiwork I began to hear a sound that was like a child screaming several blocks away. The wind was still blowing pretty hard from the storm, so it was difficult to hear. I told Steve to listen and he heard it too. We left the dogs in our driveway and went looking. As we got closer, we realized that the sound was actually a cat crying out loudly. With the flashlight Steve managed to find a very small kitten in the ditch. He pulled it out and gave it to me. It was soaking wet, shaking and afraid. We took it back to the barn, got an old rag and tried to dry it off some. It was either black or gray with white feet and stomach. It didn’t appear to be hurt – just scared. I wanted to keep it, but it was very young, and Steve thought it needed to be with its mother for a couple more weeks.

Our neighbor, Bob, has a bunch of cats and kittens at his place, and we’re almost positive this was one of his – where we found it wasn’t far from his place. I wrapped it in the old rag and we headed out to return it to Bob’s house. It had been very still (other than the shaking) up to that point, but as we left the barn it began to wiggle around more. By the time we got to Bob’s, it was moving around almost normally. I put it down beside an old trailer where the kittens like to play and it immediately went under the trailer like it knew where it was going. The next chance I get I’m going to go by Bob’s and see if I can identify the same kitten. Steve said we could take it home after it’s spent a couple more weeks with its mother. Now we have to come up with a name for it based on how we found it last night.

I went by Bob’s at lunch today and told him about finding the kitten last night. I pointed out a grey and white kitten on his front porch and said that it was him. As soon as I said it, I heard crying from behind me. I turned around and the actual kitten was talking to us. I told Bob that THIS was the kitten, and Bob told me that he’d never seen it before. It acted like it wanted to come to me, but was timid. I couldn’t catch it by myself. I told Bob that we would take it, but we’ll be in SL this weekend. He agreed to make sure it got food until next week. He threw some bread down and it was hungry. It’s either dark grey or black, and its fur is all matted and choppy. It kept scratching like it has fleas, so I’ll go by the vet this weekend and get some treatment. We’ll most likely take one of Bob’s kittens as well, so they’ll be playmates. He’s got some really cute orange ones.